National Foods head office is located in one of Melbourne’s most sought after business locations – Docklands, and exemplifies modern office building design.
The striking building owned, developed and constructed by Lorenz Grollo’s Equiset is situated in the Batman’s Hill precinct at 737 Bourke Street. National Foods occupies levels three to eight of the 11-storey building, which is within walking distance of the CBD, transport hubs, extensive parklands, water frontages, sports facilities, restaurants and car parking.
The interior of the building has been carefully designed to facilitate communication between staff and various groups, featuring open zones, flexible hubs and breakout areas. An impressive stair connects the levels and provides access to a central terrace on the third level.
“The way staff interact at National Foods has a lot to do with the interior. Be it the large sculptural stair that cuts through the levels or the connection between hub areas; people are brought together from across the organisation in a transparent, open way,”
– Scott Walker, Principal of HASSELL
Curved walls are a major feature of the interior as they create a sense of flow and openness through each floor of the building. Plaza Interiors Australasia Pty Ltd was chosen to install the curved ceilings over six floors, and to do the external cladding of the building’s veranda – a project worth over $3 million.
Having completed interiors for Crown Casino, MCG Northern Stand and Governor Philip Tower in Sydney, their experience in major projects and special feature work enabled them to cope with the size and complex nature of this project.
The interiors include ‘figure 8’ walls, sweeping curves and walls that consistently vary in thickness. Normal plasterboard is 13 mm thick and is not designed to be bent, so special purpose plasterboard and techniques are required to create curved walls.
“We used Siniat’s CurveShield, which is six and a half millimetres thick. It has got flexibility in it so you can build a curved wall and build it up with different layers to obtain the architects requirements,” said Graham Ryder, Director, Plaza Interiors Australasia Pty Ltd.
The intricacies and non-standard features of the internal design meant that it was a slow construction process taking around 11 months to complete. “In the last half metre of every opening wall thickness flares out to 150mm thick making it difficult to build and certainly tested our experience as plasterers,” said Graham.